Monday, May 04, 2009


From my not-distant-enough past of working at Main Street Project, I cannot recall anything signficant about Faron Hall, a man who this week rescued a boy from the Red River near the Provencher Bridge. To me, he was simply another name in a continual blur of regulars on the register: the police would bring him in, and I would send him out around 6:00 A.M. No mess, no fuss: "Is it cold outside?" "What time's soup?" "Ok, have a nice day."

And so, I probably will not win any awards for my two bits on this rescue-turned-human interest story, but I will say that the only thing that is surprising about this story is that any man was able to swim out and drag a panicking teenaged boy to shore in the currents of the Red River. The river is rushing so fast right now, it is amazing anyone could survive.

What is not surprising is that a guy like Faron Hall jumped in to help; it would be no more surprising if an optometrist from Tuxedo, or a waitress from St. James, or a paramedic from East St. Paul ran into the water on Sunday. His social status is insignificant (contrary to how much the media is sure to milk it in the coming days... I can just see Gordon Sincliar jr. and John Mohan columns now...), as many people are capable of all kinds of clear thinking and selfless action in circumstances like this.


Blogger D. Sky Onosson said...

I wish optimistrist were a real job! At least, I'd like to take a training course...

12:31 AM  
Blogger Jeope said...

On Sinclair: my sentiments exactly. He must be hyperventilating.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Yann said...

I do remember Faron Hall. He made use of the St-Boniface Library while I was working there. I'm sure he still does.

10:14 AM  
Blogger filmguy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:32 PM  
Blogger filmguy said...

I think his social standing is significant, because his actions defy people's stereotypes about the down-and-out.
You and I may realize that the wealthy have no monopoly on virtue, but to many, poverty and homelessness is associated with weakness and poor character.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I agree that his social standing is significant because there are so many shitheads in the city that have such a chip on their shoulder towards the aboriginal homeless that this will hopefully help the lesser calloused in our city to see that these people can still mean well even though they may be down and out. Way to many ignorant stereotypes out there.

Film guy hit the nail on the head.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Spenny said...

I was somewhat involved with a door-hanger food collection project in Winnipeg last summer for Winnipeg Harvest that covered a cross section of 30,000 homes in various demographic neighbourhoods. Who contributed the most non-perishable food items on collection day you ask? Middle and lower income neighbourhoods contributed a significantly disproportionate amount more than upper class areas. Surprised?

11:23 AM  
Blogger Jamie Isfeld said...

There are a lot more middle and lower income neighbourhoods. That isn't a fair estimate at all. Additionally, upper class areas are more likely to write a cheque than toss in a can of pork 'n beans, and their single cheque is often the equivalent of several lower and middle income contributions.

Faron Hall rescued someone for whom the public would be screaming for a public stoning had he stolen a car. The public attention is really fickle at best.

9:25 AM  

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